For many of us, the arrangement of our own home is one of the most important tasks. We always try to achieve the maximum possible comfort, to create an atmosphere of warmth and comfort in our home. To achieve this goal, we use new technologies, acquire new technological equipment, rely on new materials. Underfloor heating, for example, allows for efficient heating of residential premises, and the flooring already complements the surroundings.
Not only the interior of our dwelling, but also the technological parameters of dwelling habitability and the corresponding level of comfort depend on what kind of heating equipment we use, what materials we focus on. However, we most often focus not on common sense and technical calculations, but follow to please our whims and desires.
In some cases, we have to combine things that are absolutely opposite in their parameters and characteristics. So, for example, is the water-heated floor in our house and carpet compatible? We will try to find answers to this and many other questions.
Underfloor heating and carpet, fundamental differences
Our natural desire to create a comfortable environment in an apartment or house sometimes runs into contradictions. The technical capabilities of modern equipment, new technologies allow us to make a qualitatively new efficient heating in the house. Having given preference to warm floors, we rely on the fact that such heating will be the best, and the most convenient, and the most efficient. However, in a number of cases, our subsequent actions negate all the advantages of even the most advanced equipment. We are talking about the wrong floor covering for a warm water floor.
Why is this possible? The reasons lie in the fundamentally different technological parameters of the heating system and the material used to finish the floor.
Warm water floors are a low-temperature system. The heat carrier circulating through the heating circuit loops can have a temperature of not more than 500C. Adding to this the substrate, concrete screed and floor covering, at the exit, on the floor surface, we get the optimum temperature of 270C. Thus, floor heating, due to its work, provides a comfortable temperature regime inside the room.
The principle of operation of a warm floor is the transfer of thermal energy from the water circuit of the floor surface. The better the thermal conductivity of all materials that make up the “layer cake”, the better the heat transfer, the more efficient the heating system works.
Important! During the installation of warm water floors for finishing, you should choose a floor finishing material that has a high coefficient of thermal conductivity. The higher the coefficient of thermal conductivity, the better the heat transfer of the floor surface.
In order to have an idea of what thermal conductivity floor coverings have, just look at the table.
As can be seen from the table, carpets have one of the lowest thermal conductivity coefficients. Hence the conclusion. Underfloor heating, in which the main task is to heat the floor surface for subsequent heating of the interior space, with such a floor covering will work in vain.
Carpets, natural or synthetic, despite the fact that they have excellent aesthetic properties, play the role of insulation. An ordinary carpet floor increases comfort, improves physiological perception, and prevents excessive cooling of the floor surface. However, in the case of underfloor heating, all these qualities play in the opposite direction. The thick synthetic base and structure of the material are excellent insulators, preventing the spread of heat from the heated floor into the heated room.
Therefore, before making a warm floor, decide for yourself where in the house there should be floor heating, what finishing material should be used to finish the floor surface.
Warm water floor and carpet. Looking for a way out of this situation
To finish the floor today, consumers have a large selection of materials at their disposal. Fiberboard, parquet today are considered rarities. Linoleum continues to be in demand as a technical flooring. However, nowadays we prefer ceramic tiles, laminate and carpet. These materials are very convenient, practical and technological. For the heating system «warm water floors» tiles, linoleum and laminate are quite suitable, differing in acceptable technological parameters and good thermal conductivity.
On a note: for a warm floor, use linoleum without a synthetic substrate, without insulation. Otherwise, your floor will not give off heat well, and the material itself will begin to deform over time, losing its physical and aesthetic qualities.
Compatibility between carpet and underfloor heating is questionable, despite the fact that such a coating has attractive performance. The warm floor under the carpet has the right to life, if everything is done correctly, taking into account the characteristics of the heating system and the technological parameters of the finishing coating.
Underfloor heating can be a full-fledged heating system for the whole house or is an auxiliary heating equipment. For example, warm floors are often installed in children’s rooms or in the living room, in those rooms where the most comfortable temperature in the floor area is required. When the surface of the floor is warm and beautiful — this is one thing, and when it is also soft, pleasant to the touch, is a completely different matter.
Which carpet is right for you in this case? How to choose the right brand of underfloor heating?
Currently, there is a huge selection of products on the market, each of which has certain qualities and characteristics. Carpets differ in the density and height of the pile, have different colors. Do not chase the thickness of the carpet. Notice one thing right now. The thinner the carpet base, the better the material will interact with your underfloor heating system. A good material is tufted carpet, similar in properties to laminate.
Speaking specifically about what should be the carpet flooring for underfloor heating, the following factors should be considered:
- what is the basis of the material (foamed rubber, natural or synthetic);
- what is the length of the pile (there are short pile, medium pile and long pile products);
- what material is used for manufacturing (nylon, polyester, polypropylene, wool);
- what is the way of processing the material (“texture”, “saxony” or plush).
Each of these factors affects the thermal conductivity of the carpet, its behavior during operation, along with a warm floor.
The length of the pile can be a key aspect influencing the thermal conductivity of the carpet. It is best to use short pile products. The air cushion in such coatings is smaller, respectively, the heat spreads better in the surrounding space.
On a note: here it should be noted that synthetic coatings, despite their external attractiveness and durability, are not environmentally friendly. Natural materials, wool and felt are much safer. In addition, such carpets do not contribute to the development of an allergic reaction in the inhabitants of the house.
As for the processing of the pile, it is preferable to use textured carpets for the children’s room. This carpet is easy to clean, it is less prone to abrasion and durable. It is usually placed in the children’s room, in the living room or in the hallway.
Typically, manufacturers indicate on their products information about whether the carpet is suitable for combination with underfloor heating.
Method of laying carpet on a water floor. Technical nuances during operation
If you were able to buy a material that meets all the parameters and characteristics of interaction with underfloor heating, you were able to solve half the battle. Now the main thing is to correctly lay the carpet, set up the heating system in the desired mode.
For laying carpet at home, various methods and options are used. In rooms up to 25 m22 apply free laying of a covering. Carpet fasteners are carried out at the joints with double-sided adhesive tape, and along the perimeter the coating is fixed with skirting boards. It will not be difficult for you to make a soft heated floor in the children’s room. In those situations where it is required to spread the carpet over a large area, use the direct or double gluing method.
Carpeting installation is not difficult. The only condition that you need to fulfill in order to drink up the optimal operation of the heating system is to correctly set the heating temperature of the coolant.
For reference: Consider the following fact! Heat, before getting into the room, must overcome the resistance of other materials: the substrate, the concrete screed and the floor covering. Consequently, part of the calories will be spent on overcoming the thermal insulation barrier.
In order to achieve uniform heating of the entire floor surface and make sure that at least 50% of the thermal energy enters the heated room, increase by 3-50With the heating temperature of the coolant. In other words, the coolant should warm up more strongly, the boiler power will need to be increased.
Naturally, energy consumption will increase.
Important! When using a warm water floor in a city apartment connected to the central heating system, such a manipulation with an increase in the temperature of water heating is impossible.
In a private house, where there is enough space and technical capabilities for equipping the “warm water floors” heating system, carpets can be used for finishing. It is not recommended to carpet all floors in the house. This will cause your heating boiler to work constantly in enhanced mode. To make a children’s room with carpet, to cover the living room with carpet, using a water floor, the task is real and feasible.